Tuesday 18 December 2018

To be 'born again' is death and resurrection to life everlasting - Fourth Gospel

There is a wonderful scene in the Fourth Gospel* in which Jesus talks with Nicodemus about the need to be 'born again'. (Dramatised beautifully here: https://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos/jesus-teaches-of-being-born-again?lang=eng )

This passage is about the need for each Man to die, before he can be resurrected to eternal life, and dwell in Heaven. This is to be 'born again'.

Jesus is talking to Nicodemus in the present tense, about a situation that is already possible, at the time of the conversation. Because, at the time of conversing with Nicodemus; Jesus had already become divine when he was Baptised by John; and from then onwards a pattern was made by which any Man could choose to follow Jesus from Manhood to Divinity.

Thus, Jesus began his life as a Man, then was transformed and became divine; and the 'template' was established.  Any Man may be transformed because Jesus was transformed.

However, before a Man can be made divine - his body must die.

After death of the body, the soul remains; but the soul without the body is maimed and lacks agency; the soul cannot 'resurrect itself'.

The soul must be-resurrected by another; and that other is the divine Jesus, who himself went-through the process.

Note: When Jesus was talking with Nicodemus; the transformation by Jesus of Man to divinity by resurrection was already possible - and soon afterwards Jesus resurrected Lazarus - but to remain on earth rather than dwell in the kingdom of God; as a miraculous demonstration of the new dispensation.

*John.3 [1] There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: [2] The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. [3] Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. [4] Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? [5] Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. [8] The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. [9] Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? [10] Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? [11] Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. [12] If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? [13] And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. [14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: [15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. [16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [19] And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. [20] For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. [21] But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.